The saying “don’t let the bed bugs bite” has taken on new significance for Australia’s burgeoning backpacker industry, which is facing an epidemic of the bloodsucking insects.
The bugs, which can survive for months without feeding and are renowned as hitchhikers, travelling the world hidden in luggage, shoes and clothing, could cost the country’s tourism industry tens of millions of pounds after they were found to have infested eight out of 10 backpacker hostels in Sydney’s eastern suburbs alone. Many bedsits, particularly at Bondi Beach and Kings Cross, rely almost exclusively on British and Irish customers.
Despite bringing in pest controllers to eradicate the bugs, more than half the hostels have reported a fresh outbreak during the recent summer months.
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Well, it’s about time it started to affect tourism. They’ve been having this problem for months – years even. I would do my best to avoid places that have had reputations…and when you’re on the road, people can find out what ones to skip pretty quick. And of course, it just keeps growing. All that, bad experience tell ten people thing…